Socially Superlative was fortunate enough to be in invited to Media Night for Rock of Ages at Caesars’ Circus Maximus Theater.  The tour just blew in to Atlantic City for this 2009 five-time Tony award nominee on August 14th and will be there for a limited engagement through September 2nd.

Our night started with a four-course menu at Nero’s Tuscan Steakhouse with a Rock of Ages inspired menu created exclusively for the event by Executive Chef Keith Mitchell.

Our first course was Lobster Nachos. Flat focaccia chips were overflowing with large morsels of Maine Lobster, greens, decorated with pop corn shoots and even had Togarashi Pop Rocks to boot! It was no surprise it was everyone’s favorite dish of the night.

The second course was Chef Mitchell’s take on mac ‘n’ cheese called Chili Mac. This super filling dish was comprised of Chianti braised beef short ribs, Casaeccia pasta, Caciocavallo cheese, tomatoes, Tuscan chillies and topped with a basil-fresh mozzarella crust.

We could have very well ended our meal there but were then served with an almost fully whole roasted stripe bass with crab imperial stuffing and wild mushrooms. The dish was served with homemade bacon-brie “tater tots,” which were light, fluffy and tasted more like a croquette; another highlight of the night.

To make sure we would have to be rolled to the show we were so full, we were served with a sampling of what Chef Mitchell deemed to be “Little Debbie’s Reunion.” Mini versions of a chocolate mousse cup, oatmeal cream pie, warm crispy cherry pie and strawberry roll were the perfect compliments of the meal and a great way to end the tasting.

We were having such a great time with the local media at the dinner, which almost felt like a distant cousin family reunion, that we got to the theater just as the house lights went down.

Not to give too much away, but the synopsis of the show is a small town girl meets a big city rocker in a popular rock club in LA in 1987. They fall in love to the sounds of the 80s. The show is high energy, the dance numbers are fun and the acting is so engaging that almost three hours have passed and you wonder where the time went and when you came back from the time warp you just got sucked into.

What can you expect? To hear every classic rock song you know, like “Don’t Stop Believin’”, “Can’t Fight This Feeling”, “I Want to Know What Love Is”, and to basically laugh your face off from the characters’ antics!

We were lucky enough to get to interview some of the tour’s cast members and get some insight on the show and their background. Dominique Scott who plays  Drew, Shannon Mullen who plays Sherrie, Matt Nolan who plays Stacee Jaxx and Amma Osei who plays Mother, were all nice enough to sit and chat with us after the show, even though it was very late.

True to Socially Superlative fashion, we wanted to know what the cast’s favorite part of AC was so far and what they liked to do there. We were surprised to find that these onstage rockers didn’t get a lot of free time outside of the show, so the outlets, five cent slot machines, and sleeping topped their lists.

When asked if they channel any 80s icon for their character, Scott said that not too long ago, “That was me in a nutshell.” He felt the character hit very close to home. For Nolan’s character, Stacee Jaxx is essentially a conglomeration of all the main lead singers from that era, so he tried to bring a little of each character to the show each night. For Osei, it is a little bit of Loretta Divine.

The question of what they thought about the movie version of the show was inevitable, but the cast was very diplomatic about their answer and basically said both projects are completely different. The show and the movie have some major differences in characters and story lines. Rock of Ages the tour is done every day live on stage and the movie has recorded musical numbers, the acting is taped over the course of several months and then made into a final product so they can’t really be compared although Scott did mention that he thought Tom Cruise did a good job.

I definitely recommend taking advantage of seeing Rock of Ages during it’s short stint in Atlantic City. Being so close to NYC and still feeling like you’re on vacation by just walking outside of the casino onto the boardwalk, I see this as a win-win for everyone!

For showtimes and tickets, please visit the TicketMaster site here!

– Stephanie